Friday, May 15, 2009

A View of "...and nothing but the truth"

I invite you to check out "Rhymes With Orange" - a very funny and insightful strip by Hilary Price.
This comic and my adventures in online dating reminded me of those MadTV "Lowered Expectations" skits.
Click on the picture for one of the funnier clips.
A couple of posts back, I wrote about a buncha rules. Part of the post was about my attempts to get back into the dating scene. I included a portion of my online dating profile, which listed a sense of honesty as one my ideal man's must haves. My friend Blogs Browser, who always has some good insight, commented how that might be a turnoff for a potential date. "That thing of honesty is just a killer," he wrote. "It should not be in the profile. It should be presumed and so on."

It made me rethink my position. In many ways, he's right. A person should not have to say to another, "If you're going to be my friend, you have to be honest with me." That should be a behavioral given - something learned back in kindergarten right?

Not necessarily, and here's an example. In that post, I mentioned how one of my dates was with a guy who, as it turned out, was looking for recruits for a direct selling outfit to which he belonged. We met through an online dating site. His post mentioned nothing about recruiting. In fact, his post read a lot like mine. He was the pursuer, sending me a wink and a note first. In fact, I didn't see his profile until he sent me the note. We e-mailed each other several times for a couple of days, then decided to give each other a call. We talked several times for the remainder of that week. During our first conversation, he told me about the work he did with direct sales and gave a very brief sales pitch. I told him I wasn't interested and had no desire to sell. He said he understood and that it wouldn't come up again. On a later call, he asked if we could meet in person that weekend because I sounded like someone he wanted to get to know better. We met at a restaurant that Sunday evening.
We laughed, we talked, we flirted. It seemed like things were going fine until the sales pitch came up again. Again, I told him thanks but no thanks. Between my job, my volunteer work (both of which have non-solicitation policies), and my absolute aversion to selling, I just wasn't interested. Besides, if I ever wanted to go into independent business, I would work with my cousins who have a catering business rather than go to work for someone else. If I were go out completely on my own, I said, I would pursue my dream of writing. Direct selling was not the path for me, I told him. Ever.
Then came the million dollar jackpot question: I asked him point blank if that was a deal breaker. "Is the only reason you're seeing me tonight is to recruit me?"
No, he said. I think you're an attractive woman, he said. I want to get to know you better, he said. The topic didn't come up again for the rest of the night. We ended up spending about two hours at the restaurant, laughing, talking, flirting. The evening even ended with a kiss goodnight that he initiated, and a call to make sure I made it home okay.
He then asked me to meet him the following Tuesday. Sure enough, it was a recruitment meeting for his group. Keeping an open mind, I sat, listened, took notes, and watched the crowd through the entire meeting - about 90 minutes. When the meeting closed, I left.
"I thought this topic was closed," I said. "I'm still not interested. I will never be interested. This is not something I want to do, but I respect your passion for your work." I asked again if recruiting was the only reason he asked me out. I knew the answer at this point, but I was interested in hearing what he had to say.
No, he said. I think you're an attractive woman, he said. I want to get to know you better, he said. I thought you might change your mind once you saw this opportunity in person, he said. The evening ended with laughing, talking, flirting, but no kiss goodnight and a request for me to call him to let him know I made it home. Which I did and he kept very short.
Then I noticed that the frequent calls from my suitor changed to occasional text messages and maybe a call once or twice in a week. This was fine by me. The writing on the wall from this guy had said "she's a sales prospect" more than it ever said "she's dating potential." I also noticed the tone of the calls & texts went from "let's get to know each other" right into "how about a booty call" territory.
So I called his bluff. A couple of days ago, he sent a text that pretty much requested a one night stand. I texted back, "Okay. Name the day, name the date. I'm free when you are." His response?
"Ooh! I'm tellin' yo mama!" Just the answer you'd expect from a 40-something year-old man who asks for a no strings attached hook-up and gets "let's do it" as a response.
In my online profile, I say that I'm not looking for Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet, nor am I looking to marry. I'm just looking to date. A lot of time, both mine and his could've been saved if he'd just cut to the chase from the beginning. How hard is it to say this from jump:
"Look. I saw your profile online and was attracted. I'm looking for a no-strings attached arrangement. When we can hook-up, we can hook-up. If something else develops from this, cool. If not, cool. And, by the way, I have a great direct sales opportunity that I'd like to bring you into. Would you be interested in one or the other - preferably both?"
It's not hard to ask for what you want, especially if you're willing to accept that you can't always get what you want. Had this guy been up front from jump, he would've learned that I would've been okay with the occasional hook-up and not interested in the direct selling. If one had been contingent upon the other, then we'd be right where we are now - moving on and not hooking up.
That's an example of why my profile says a guy has to have a sense of honesty. It would be nice if one could presume it was there, but it's not always there. I suppose I could say "no games," but it's much more direct to say have a sense of honesty.
Plus saying "have a sense of honesty" is being, well, honest.
More later, and you can believe that. I wouldn't tell a lie. Especially on this point: Thanks for making me think, Blogs Browser. Your feedback keeps me thinking and on my toes.

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Blogger The Old Man said...

Unfortunately, the people like you mention (The hidden agenda people, lying bas**rds, and such) are as common as pennies. And they're worth LESS than pennies. You never know what to expect, or when to expect it. Politicians, on the other hand, are 99.999% liars and crooks. (See recent from Illinois about the ex-governor and current articles from the MN US Senate race.)

Bill collectors are crooks, too. But you know them by their actions, as the following poem indicates (Author unknown)

One evening in October, when I was one-third sober,
An' taking home a load with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter, so I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up an' lay down by my side;
Then we sang: "It's all fair weather when good fellows get together",
Till a lady passing by was heard to say:
"You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses."

.........And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

Cops are on power trips, your Boss complains when you can't get to work, and when you make arrangements to GET there, complains because you have to wait for a ride home (an 8 hour wait!) He wants you to walk 35 miles! What options are left?

Your "Friends" are turncoats. And like Lucy told Charlie Brown: "Snoopy only pretends to like you because you feed him."

In the ideal world, it wouldn't happen. Unfortunately, this is the REAL world.


"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?"

I'd rather use the cannibals ideology. "If you can't beat 'em, EAT 'em!"

11:09 AM  
Blogger TEM said...

There may be something to that cannibal ideology, but I'm betting that all that bitterness from the lying makes 'em taste funny.

Sure there are a ton of liars and negative people out there, but I'm trying not to let them get me down or beat me. Moving past the negativity as best I can is the victory of my sanity over their bullshit. I heard someone say that everything works itself out in the end and if it hasn't worked out, then it's not over yet. So I'll keep moving and hope that things work out in the end. Hope you will too.

2:44 PM  
Blogger The Old Man said...

Yeah, they probably taste rancid.

Like the two cannibals who ate the comic? One asked the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Blogs Browser said...

Maybe online profiles are abit different ffrom other ways of meeting people because in real life when I'm talking with people I just met they immediately get a sense of how I dispise liars. It could even be the most mellow of topics but somehow the topic of liars never fails to crop up.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous The Old Man said...

Didn't I tell you? They wanted me to walk 35 miles. I waited for my wife to pick me up. And what did they do? ONE GUESS.

Ain't no jobs around here. Ain't no jobs in Detroit with the Auto companies falling like flies. And thanks to those MF*Idiots, I won't be able to MOVE, either.

"Take me to the graveyard.
Take me there today.
I'm tired of life's hassles.
I'm tired of the pain.
Place me down in darkness, whither I shall go.
Place me down in darkness, six feet below."

You can read the whole text at my blog

12:47 AM  

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